Sunday, February 21, 2021

Spring Planning 2021

Sitting at home, in the chair while looking out at my front gardens, I dropped the maeer and did my seed order today.   What surpised me most was that I had more flower and herbs in my cart than vegetables.  Maybe that's because I have been saving seeds for quite some time.  I tend to be shifting to a more all around garden - herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.   Who knows - maybe I'll make my own set of teas.

Looking forward to spring, new growth, new plants and rethinking my garden plan.   

2021 has been a wild ride thus far, but we're looking forward to this summer, yard projects, our annual gumbo night festivities, new dishes, and hopefully some new furniture (built by us).

I am still working on my cookbook project too.  One recipe I've been developing is our Salisbury steak.   

A top quality beef, egg, spices, cracker crumb, onion, garlic browned then simmered in a mushroom onion gravy, and topped with fresh picked parsley.  I won't post up the recipe as I still have some work to do.  But I'll give y'all a picture.  The answer to curious minds, yes I licked the spoon.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Ready, set, go!

With my third cup of coffee in hand, I am finally ready to start my day.   I've made lists, I've talked with a few people, laughed, played with the dog.  It's time to do a Saturday clean!

My goals for this year are to walk more - around our property, out in nature, and on the treadmill.   I don't have weightloss on the forefront of my mind.  I do have lung health, heart health, and overall excercise for peace of mind.   I hate to carve out time to goto a gym, and living rurally there is just not enough reasons to pay a fancy membership fee when I live close to nature.  Move with Intention - and do it with a purpose to feel your body, know your body and live your best life, all with trying to do no intentional harm to others.  

Unfortunately that goal is about to be derailed as I go in for surgery on my ankle.  I'll be non-weight bearing for a few weeks, then limited, then will work my way back to being able to take a nice walk in the woods with the dog.   This is my prep weekend and I'm making the best of it!

Making the best of things is kind of a theme around here for 2021.  Who would have guessed we'd be where we are today, trying to make the best out of a volatile nation with such uncertainty hanging over our heads.   I choose to not stress about what I cannot personally change and instead focus on my immediate future, for that is something I can do something about.

Make do with what you have, and work hard for things you don't.    Forgive others their trespasses, look for the joy in a moment and be grateful for your surroundings.  Don't let hate and fear overrun your emotions, there is much joy and peace in the world - it is only our own reactions we can control.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Reflections on a New Year - 2021 and beyond!

New Years 2021 rolled in easily, with neighbors lighting fireworks, and Sauk scared of them, but not terrified.  We used his "stressful event" medicine prescribed for him last Summer, in full anticipation of last night.  He was more like a happy drunk - bumping into the walls and couch, drooling, drinking lots of water, and eating plenty.  This was such a difference over the past few years - he was scared, but not panicked.   What all of this really means is that I was able to sleep and not stress, and wake up early to do some quiet reflection and blogging.   

I am starting my morning with watching Josh Morningstar's Coffee & Cigarettes live stream.  He was reflecting on some artists we've lost over 2020 and the anniversary of the death of Hank Williams, almost 70 years ago.  Josh stated "There will be another Hank", and that's so very true.    With the short shot of fame he had, he left a profound legacy.

The statement had me thinking of my own impact and legacy.  I don't talk about my struggle with infertility much to outsiders.   A few years back we did 10 months of fertility treatments - after two years of no natural success.   With every passing month,  even though my ultrasounds showed promise, I was not able to concieve and struggled with crippling depression.   I reacted well to the drugs, but my general health and mental well being were being compromised the longer we went.  We had to make the hard decision to stop treatments and accept that we wouldn't be human parents after a risky situation presented itself.  It's taken a lot to overcome the sense of failure I felt and manage the depression and anxiety that comes with the realization the dream you had will never come true.  Some days it would creep up and overwhelm me, and other days it's like a sad song on the radio - a passing minute or two (like today, the anniversary of when we found out it was too risky to continue).  It's taken a few years, lots of tears, some long talks and lots of mindset shifts to not dwell what was not to be.   I have accepted that I'll never be a human mom (and to not fall into a depression when my irregular period skips a month), but I am a dog mom and a chicken mom - I've made peace with that.  I have a very fulfilling life and a freedom that I wouldn't have had we had children.  

My legacy is my life.  I freely share it with family, friends, coworkers, and all who read this blog, who attend our events, who find comfort in my words, or laugh or smile at a gift. We all have impact and make everlasting ripples across time.  These words are out here forever - so let it be known that this IS my legacy to all.   May you find comfort in them long after I am gone (may that be many decades from now).  

So here we are, the first day of 2021,  I am listening to Josh Morningstar, drinking my coffee, planning out  my goals for 2021 and so many other things.   It's my annual tradition to take this time, set some goals and do some planning.   2021 is going to be a rough year. Y'all thought 2020 was bad, nope - that was just the prelude.  2021 is going to show true colors of folks in your circle. I have a feeling we'll see people lose their homes, lose jobs, lose unemployment, and see the trickle down of those cuts we all are making until another crash happens due to these cumulative circumstances (like folks relying on loans, credit, and deferred payments (thankfully we've not deferred anything)).   The best thing that we all can do is buckle down and make some hard decisions before things get worse.  If folks make informed decisions - we'll all come out the other side better for it (and maybe some savings!).

Due to workplace restritions that B has faced in 2020, (can't weld remotely), cost of living going up,  we're looking to cut out wasteful, luxury, or unneccessary expenses.  We are going to take a few calculated risks this year and open up a new business part time (more to come later).  In looking back,  it's where we've been heading for several years.  We held off doing this last year to do some market research, but Life is too short to just survive.  We want to live, and enjoy these moments.

There are other things in my immediate future that will be coming to fruition in 2021.    My cookbook project is moving forward - I am making a commitment to self publishing for Christmas 2021.  I've found a few printers who will allow me to print on demand - I can even sell them too!   Saukthedestroyer Calendars are coming out for 2021 (several are in print production right now).  If they turn out good, I'll offer them up for print on demand!   My new greenhouse will be up by Spring (bigger and a permanent structure).   Our outdoor kitchen project should hopefully be ready by our annual Gumbo Night celebration (can you say Pizza Oven?).   I am really looking forward to all of these things!  

My wish for anyone reading this - Be kind to yourself today, but take stock at your life in this snapshot - and make some tough decisions for 2021.  Ask yourself - what is your legacy?  Are there bucket list items you wish to do?  What small, actionable steps can you take each day to achieve a larger goal?  
I am hoping that as we move forward into 2021, people are kind, compassionate and steadfast in knowing that this crisis will pass - we're in the midst of a historical record - we can choose how the world sees us.    How do you want to see yourself one year from now?

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Thanksgiving week 2020

It's Thankgiving week here in the USA.   I've tried to find the blessing in many things over the last year, so this Thanksgiving isn't much different.  My home will be two plus a dog, like it's been on other years - and it's just fine with me.   While I do miss the huge holidays of my youth, right now it's just not the responsible thing to do. Responsibility is a big focus around our home of late.  We have had many discussions on personal responisbility and taking ownership of ones actions.

I really try and keep a neutrual perspective on social topics as I like to form my own opinions and base my beliefs across many different viewpoints.    Maybe it's just the social circles I follow, but it may be time for a refresh.   It's not that I don't or won't tolerate things that I don't believe in - but I see more and more folks that do not seem to follow one of my basic life principles - Do No Intentional Harm.   While I do love a snarky sacrastic meme, or one that pokes fun of a situation for the amusement of the masses, they are not always appropriate and are becoming more hurtful of others - just because they have a different belief.   I am talking in general terms here, as this can be applied to so many things that have happened or is happening now.    

Take for example, I sprained my ankle a week ago.  Total accident, but one that most likely was bound to happen due to my weakness in my ankle and several near mishaps over the past year.  Instead of playing the victim or blaming everyone else - or the small rock I tripped on - I am taking ownership of my actions and my feelings about my injury.  This sucks and at the same time I am so blessed!   I was very fortunate to not have broken any bones, to have my husband close by, to be able to work from home, and even when I'm a super cranky grump - he made me eggs. 

Taking ownership of your actions means that you can review the events and see where your part was in the fault - without casting blame on others.  How could you - as you were obviously aware of the issue for quite some time, changed some factor that would have lead to a different outcome?   For me it was ignoring the fact that my favorite "chore" shoes didn't have great ankle support, thus my tripping and rolling my ankle was bound to happen if I didn't change my ways.   I chose to ignore the signs, didn't buy a new 'chore' shoe, and now I'm dealing with the consequences.    In this mindset, I am taking ownership of my actions and my injury.  This still sucks.

We cannot control everything around ourselves.  Yet there are small things that we can do, to be aware of our surroundings, and not ignore or dismiss the little things that one day may compound into much larger issues.

So why am I bringing this up now?  Like i said, maybe my social circles need a refresh by hiding or unfollowing folks who play the victim one too many times without some sort personal responibility.   I get that there are things that are out of your control - but that doesn't give you a blank check to beg for people to pull you up.   Stand up while you are in the wading pool.   If you get to close to the deep end, I hope you learned how to tread water.   If you truly need help, a lifering can be thrown, but don't grow to expect it every time.  Sometimes you just have to pull yourself up, no matter if there is an audience to see it and cheer you on.

In the end, all we can do is our best - and try to do better the next time.   Here's hoping I heal well (not fast, but well), I keep a bright outlook, and enjoy the Wagyu chuck roast I'm about to try my hand at.  If it goes good - I will post up the recipe I am throwing together as I go.  

Thoughts for the week - what one thing can you change today to steer you on a better path?

Oh, almost forgot.  I purchased "Once Upon a River" by Diane Setterfiled.   I'll give a report on it once I am done reading. 

Blessings to all.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Grateful November

November is  a great month for reflection, opportunity and family.    I took a break from caregiving for my mom to visit with my sister who lives close by.  It was a chance to let Sauk play with her dogs as this was our first trip over this year due to covid.  We've missed coming over and hanging out all together.   This will be our only trip over for the year, so we're making the best and most of it.

My exercise level has been mild this summer/fall due to foot issues earlier in the year.  I have been walking around my yard on breaks and lunches, doing yard chores - but not hiking like I wish I could do. My foot becomes inflamed and to the point where it throbs.  Stretching helps a lot - as does gentle walking.

Behind my sisters house is land that stretches for miles towards the mountains, filled with sagebrush and rolling hills.    So off we went, us, her kids, one horse and three dogs.  It's about a 1.5 mile loop, with some good hills to work all of your muscles and get your blood pumping.

I huffed and puffed and had Sauk help pull me up the last hill (I've been teaching him a Pull command).  The view from the top overlooking the valley was worth it all!  Hills are a weakness, so I'm glad I took it at my own pace.  Heck  I figured that if the 6 month old basset hound could do it - so could I, and I did!  On the way back I took both dogs and got an even better workout - both arms holding back these powerful strong dogs!  They did great with an "easy" command so that I didn't fall on my face going downhill.   The kids and I joked that these two would be great as sled dogs in the snow, or even with skis.

My shins hurt, my foot went a little numb, yet I was able to talk and laugh without strain - a PERFECT afternoon walk.  This morning my back feels fantastic - I definitely need to use a hill program on my treadmill once I get home.

For the month of November I set a goal to look at things with a different perspective, with a focus on being grateful for the present instead of being negative or focus on what isn't going right.  I feel blessed to have the ability to do adventures with family like this.  I feel great knowing that my aging body still has some get up and go - and with more walking I could do and feel like this more!

I had some fabulous oatmeal this morning, and I am ready to look forward to some amazing fall meals that will help inspire more activity and movement like this. 

View overlooking the Valley